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Borders and immigration

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This is a topic that I have been discussing lately with another person, and am interested in knowing what folks here think. It's about immigration and the borders, especially referring to the Mexican border of the U.S. Every year more border patrol officers are sent to the southern border of the U.S. and yet the tide of illegal immigration is not stemmed. Clearly this isn't working. I don't have a solution, just know it is a problem. Some say that too many illegal immigrants are taking jobs (and welfare) away from people who are here legally, but the other side of things is that if some industries, especially the garment and agriculture industries, were not fueled by the work of people who are here illegally and work for lower wages than American citizens would, the cost of daily goods like socks and lettuce would skyrocket. Some say that there is a disproportionate number of illegal immigrants in the prison system here; but it appears to me that many if not most who cross the southern border are only trying to get work that they cannot find at home; trying to better their lives, which is understandable. We have great wealth and abundance here; but it is also not limitless. Countries in Europe that have had strict immigration policies all along have much more cohesive cultures and traditions than we do -- as I see it America doesn't really have a culture in that same way, just a comglomeration of different cultures, most of which are becoming so dilute that they hardly exist in America any more. America has always been the melting pot, which is good in one way and not in another. It is how we started out, what made us what we are today, for better or worse, and now we are overpopulated and we are flooded with problems with immigration, but it seems impossible to turn off the tap now. All of us here (unless American Indian) are descended from or are ourselves immigrants, and of course the American Indians came from elsewhere too, they just did it a couple thousand years sooner. I don't want to start any heated arguments, so please don't get nasty in your replies. I am just interested in different sides of this question. I would also like very much to hear from people in other countries: what is your view of the U.S. and our immigration policies and practices? How do you think that it compares favorably or unfavorably to your country, and why? What do you think is the effect on the individual, the culture, the direction a country takes, depending on its immigration policies? Let's have a civilized discussion about it, if anyone likes.
post #2 of 12
I have no problem welcoming immigrants who come here to work and be productive members of society. The real problems are the coyotes (illegal immigrant smugglers) and the drug runners.
post #3 of 12
Legal immigration is wonderful; come on over and live here.

Illegal immigration is something else altogether.

post #4 of 12
I can understand those who want a better life. I do too! But if I pursue illegal means to get that 'better' life, I may end up in prison. Go the legal route!

Also, I've recently heard about citizens in Arizona who are going to start policing the borders on their own. I hope they can keep hot heads out of the group...
post #5 of 12
I say put a 20 foot tall electric fence along the mexican border. That will keep the illegal immigrants out!!
If they want to come here enter legally.
post #6 of 12
I have to say that I am of mixed viewpoints about illegal immigrants.

On one hand, whose hiring them ? They wouldn't come if people and businesses' didn't flout the law.

On the other hand, well this requires a look back in California in the mid-eighties. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 passed and for whatever reason the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions - who really knows - but a huge number of illegal immigrants stayed the heck away.

I remember watching news reports. In some areas, the National Guard had to be called out to pick crops - and still tens of thousands of tons rotted in the fields because the "usual labor force" was not there. I also remember during this time the increasing reports of homelessness. "We'll work" they would say "but there are no jobs." Yet, somehow people who can't speak the language and aren't even citizens are able to find jobs, get enough money for themselves to squeak by and even send some home.

I would prefer to keep hard-working people and deport those who do not work or just sit around on welfare (unfortunately, the latter contains more than a few Americans).
post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
On one hand, whose hiring them ? They wouldn't come if people and businesses' didn't flout the law.
This is an important point. Illegal immigrants would not flock here in such numbers if it weren't for the fact that people hire them under the table. If we removed the motivating factor, and only hired legals, our problem would not be so severe.

Illegal immigrants are so desperate for a step up that they are willing to come here and put up with all kinds of awful stuff to get it; what they get dealt out here seems paltry in comparison to what they left. Which is why they are willing to take back-breaking awful jobs for very little pay. Many folks who hire illegals treat them like workers in a sweat factory. And they are taken advantage of all the time. Charged a lot of money for a trailer sitting next to a pool of sewage from a surfacing septic tank, because the landlord was willing not to ask questions about where they came from. It is a sad commentary that this is seen as BETTER than what they had before.

It isn’t OK with me that we as a country say that we don’t want any more illegal immigration, but then many of our industries hire them under the table because it’s a cheap and expendable labor force. They are illegal, so you can treat them in ways that would get you in trouble if you treated a citizen so poorly, but what is the illegal going to do? Tell the authorities? It’s like the guy who grows weed and then someone steals it. He isn’t going to be dumb enough to call the cops and say, “They stole my pot!†(I’m ignoring the occasional case where this has happened . . . there are a few idiots on the planet). Anyway, ramble, ramble. The point I’m trying to make is that turning a blind eye to illegal immigration by hiring them and by not prosecuting people who hire them causes a whole host of problems. Perhaps instead we could grant limited-term work visas. Farm workers could get visas to come and work during the harvest season. After a certain amount of time spent doing this, you would qualify for full citizenship. There are plenty of options to think about, at any rate.
post #8 of 12
Well I say down with illegal immigrants. They give US embassies abroad reason to be so hard on visitors applying for entry to the US. They also give their (immigrant's) country a bad name.
Take the Philippines for example. I remember when a multiple entry visitor's visa had an indefinite period. Lots of Filipinos abused this privilege. They would enter as tourists then stay in the US, playing hide and seek with immigration officials. I understand they're there to find a better life than back home but why resort to illegal means to get it?
Nowadays, the US embassy here in general, will not give an entry visa if you are between the ages of 21 - 35, and single, specially if male. They already branded the applicant, an "unwanted" visitor or a potential "illegal".
post #9 of 12
This is a very interesting topic, and one that's getting a lot of discussion in the UK at the moment (because we have an election coming up). Of course, some people are using the immigration issue and linking it with the terrorism threat. Others say that our country is overcrowded, and why should we take any more people (our country has traditionally had an 'open door' policy). However, many people from the UK are happy to move abroad, hence the popularity of TV programmes on families moving to France/Italy etc. This strikes me as illogical, it's not OK for people from 'abroad' to come here, but it is for UK cits to go 'abroad'? I'd like to think that we as a country are wealthy and big-hearted enough to welcome people from other countries, especially if they are escaping a truly dreadful regime, but I do wish there was some magic way of weeding out those who come here full of hate for our country's values.
I agree about the illegal hiring of illegal immigrants (anyone remember the deaths of 20 or so Chinese who were drowned cockle-picking?) - illegal employment pays no heed to health & safety legislation, nor do they contribute re. taxes etc.
Certainly, immigration is one way to inject fresh life into an economy. I think the Aussies have a fairly good system (they use points) to choose which skills they need at the time. There is a suggestion that the UK will take up a similar system, which would be good I think.

post #10 of 12
The people hiring illegal immigrants are farmers, contactors,and hoteliers, to name a few. They realize that they can get some very hard working crop pickers, home builders, and maids for a fraction of the price. As long as these important businesses can get such cheap labor, then illegal immigrants will keep on coming over.
There was a South Park about this very issue.... people from the future came back in time to work for real cheap. They then invested the money in savings accounts. As the accounts accrued money, their families in the future became millionaires (which, in the future, still didn't amount to much). The people of South Park become enraged, crying "They took our joooooooobs!" It's a funny episode, but does take a good look at this issue...
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Certainly, immigration is one way to inject fresh life into an economy. I think the Aussies have a fairly good system (they use points) to choose which skills they need at the time. There is a suggestion that the UK will take up a similar system, which would be good I think.


I am interested to learn more about the Australian points method....know where I can find out more about it?
post #12 of 12
Two points to be made on immigration.

1) Supply and Demand: Effect of Crackdown.
Malaysia recently launched a massive crackdown on illegal immigrants that resulted in over 600,000 people eventually leaving either voluntarily or was rounded up and deported.
The effect of this is that there is now a crippling shortage of workers even though they allowed those who leave to come back if they do it legally.
This shortage is estimated to cost the economy several billion dollars and now they announced that they are seeking to recruit 100,000 Pakistani workers.

Saying one is for legal immigration but against illegal does not solve the problem. What this means is that removal of illegal immigrant could have a devastating impact on the economy, if it is reliant on illegal immigrants significantly like parts of the US. So the solution is not simply to deport illegal immigrants but to make sure that entry through the legal process is not made too difficult. If it is too difficult there could be a shortage in supply in the country thus forcing employers to turn a blind eye to illegal workers. So reduce entry requirements, increase sanctions for hiring of illegals or for illegal entry is the way forward.

2) Effect of immigrants: Economic and Science
According to the National Foundation for America Policy, 60% of top science and 65% of top math students are children of immigrants and more than half of engineers, 45% of math and computher scientist with PhD are foreign born.

3) Impact of Immigrants: Military
Even in the military they contribute. Remember the person who pulled the statue of Saddam down? He was an immigrant that fled Burma and came to US as a Child.

Also Lance Cpl. Jose Antonio Gutierrez who was one of the first to be killed in the Iraq warw up in Guatemala City and at age 14 entered the US illegally. After being granted legal status he joined the marines because he felt that "He has been given many opportunities since coming here and he wanted to give back a little bit to his adopted country,"
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